When developing a digital transformation strategy, there are so many tools and technologies to consider. So, it’s really about finding the right ones for you and your business.
Cloud technologies are a great way of helping you build both scalability and agility into your digital transformation strategy. And Microsoft Azure can help you do exactly that.
But what do you need to consider before migrating to Azure? And what scenarios might you choose to use it specifically?
Here to discuss the approach in making an Azure migration, is Principal Azure Solution Architect and Microsoft MVP, Joe Carlyle.
In what scenario might you decide to consider Azure?
There are many business drivers that can spur a move to Azure. For established companies, it may be an upcoming hardware refresh, an office move, or simply a desire to become more cloud-native with their infrastructure. For example, requiring the introduction of an isolated, PCI compliant environment can be achieved using Azure’s Security Centre, software-defined-networking and compute.
For new companies, Azure meets all infrastructure requirements including security, performance and functionality.
And it can especially benefit industries where requirements exist for Artificial Intelligence, Data Modelling or advanced scaling. Platform offerings such as Cognitive Services, Azure Synapse and Azure Kubernetes Service allow businesses to design and operate the latest in cloud capabilities.
Is there any scenario where you wouldn’t use Azure and perhaps choose private cloud instead?
Azure isn’t always suitable if you have certain regulatory requirements regarding data. So, if you must maintain complete physical control of your data storage, private cloud is more suitable.
This is driven by the balance between trust in your provider and control of your resources. Private Cloud allows greater control over your resources than is possible with Public Cloud.
What are the steps involved in planning a migration to Azure?
Depending on your environment, a migration to Azure could be a simple process, or a lengthy project. Regardless, the first step should always be to assess your business requirements relative to the platform. Next, assess your technical requirements.
If the above lines-up, you can start the planning phase. In general, this involves deciding between four strategies for each of your application stacks:
They are ranked in order of difficulty, however, more difficulty can lead to more benefits – which is a whole post by itself!
What technical pitfalls do you need to look out for?
Similar to any change in IT, the goal is always to improve the service. As Azure shifts your thinking from capacity to performance, it’s important to understand your business needs versus wants.
For example, just because a service can complete an action in five seconds doesn’t mean it needs to.
This balance will ensure the environment is well designed and you can leverage budget and focus in other areas that may need it more.
Is data automatically secured and backed up in Azure? What do you need to do to make sure that it is?
Data within Azure is secured and encrypted both at rest, and in transit for all common services. However, security and data are viewed as a shared model. This means that as you build your required infrastructure, you should ensure that it meets your regulatory/industry standards.
Azure Security Centre can help greatly with this process and offers a free tier for analysis.
Backup within Azure can be achieved using the platform native, Azure Backup service.
Talk to us about moving to Azure
In terms of maturity, Azure can benefit both new companies as well as those with an established infrastructure.
New businesses have the capability of adopting a cloud-native approach to leverage Azure’s benefits immediately. And established companies can adopt a cloud-first migration approach and adopt the same benefits more gradually.
If you would like to talk to us about how Azure can benefit your business, or about any of the cloud services we offer, just get in touch.